Devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is very biblical. “Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.” Matt. 11: 29. And after Jesus death on the cross; “One of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water.” John 19:35.
Then, in the fulness of time, out of the pierced side of Jesus, (the new Adam), in the sleep of death on the cross, God built up the Mystical Bride, the Holy Catholic Church. “That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church: Because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” Ephesians 5: 26- 30.
Out of the wounded side and Most Sacred Heart of Jesus flowed blood and water, the fountain of the Holy Sacraments of the Catholic Church. All graces flow from the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood on Calvary. All this stems from the Divine Love that God has for all of mankind and proved it, by loving to the extreme, death on the cross.
Devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus began from devotion to the Passion and the five Sacred Wounds of Jesus. Many of the saints had devotion to the Sacred Heart.
St. Gertrude, (1256 – 1302), on the feast day of St. John the Evangelist, had a mystical experience when St. John told her to lay her head on the wounded side of Jesus. She heard the Sacred Heart beating. “Peter turning about, saw that disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also leaned on his breast at supper, and said: Lord, who is he that shall betray thee?” John 21: 20
But, the most famous of all persons connected with the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, (1647 – 1690). Jesus appeared many times to her with explicit directions to spread devotion and love of His Divine Heart. Jesus told her; “Behold this Heart which has so much loved men.”
These apparitions of the Sacred Heart are centered on the Holy Eucharist. It was on the last day of the Octave of Corpus Christi, when Jesus appeared to her. In this devotion we are invited to have a Divine Intimacy in Holy Communion, with our best friend and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Another very important Catholic religious, Sr. Mary of Divine Heart, (1863 – 1899), also had personal visions of the Sacred Heart. Jesus asked her to ask Pope Leo XIII to consecrate the world to His Sacred Heart and to promote the Nine First Fridays. This was to make a novena of Communions in honor of the Sacred Heart on the first Friday of the month for nine successive months.
Pope Leo XIII did not wish to comply with Jesus’ wishes until Sr. Mary told him about an illness (that he was very worried about and no one knew). He then consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart because of this sister’s request. He wrote his Encyclopedia, Annum Sacrum, in honor of the Sacred Heart.
Let us always live in the Divine Heart of Jesus, trusting in His Divine Love for each one of us. Love will never fail and Jesus Love is much more faithful than any human love. We can begin to experience it now and all the way through eternity. “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Your Love.”
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.